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National healthcare communications firm Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock, Inc. has added six new hires with expertise spanning crisis management, public health, government relations, corporate communications and digital marketing. The consultancy, which focuses exclusively on healthcare providers, is in greater demand as its clients shift from COVID-19-centric operations toward addressing a new equilibrium emerging from the pandemic, alternative models of care, shifts in Washington and renewed focus on health equity.

Leading the new hires is veteran healthcare communicator Robert Scarola. He joined the firm as a vice president, bringing an extensive background in crisis communications and brand management borne out of time in healthcare communications, metropolitan politics and global public relations. Previously, Scarola served as vice president for communications and public affairs at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. He earlier served as assistant press secretary to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and also managed crisis communications, public relations campaigns and brand awareness work for a regional health system. He is a former managing director at Burson-Marsteller in New York.

Two other senior executives have affiliated with Jarrard Inc.:

  • Katie Ballay joined the firm in an of-counsel role following a 22-year career with Cardinal Health, most recently serving as vice president for communications. Experienced in strategic communications, brand strategy, marketing and executive leadership coaching, Ballay focuses on organizational culture and storytelling to help increase stakeholder engagement and drive growth.
  • Kristen Hinton specializes in strategic communications, government relations and media for healthcare providers. Prior to joining Jarrard Inc. in an of-counsel role, Hinton led communications and government relations at Presbyterian Healthcare Services, New Mexico’s largest integrated healthcare system of hospitals, multi-specialty medical group and health plan. There, she was responsible for all public policy and government relations efforts at both the federal and state levels.

“In working with clients across the country, we’ve seen the need for a shift in communications towards long-term strategy, workforce resiliency, partnerships and care delivery models,” said Jarrard Inc. CEO David Jarrard. These were all top of mind in 2019 and have been brought back into the conversation but through the lens of a world still being reshaped by COVID-19.”

Accomplishing so much difficult but necessary change will require a ‘political campaign’ approach, a mindset that the firm has long brought to healthcare communications.

“The backgrounds that Robert and Kristen bring to our team add additional perspective and real-world experience to this approach,” Jarrard said. “Meanwhile, Katie’s impressive experience blending data-driven strategy with culture and engagement to drive growth, enhances our ability to guide clients through the human elements necessary to produce sustainable change.”

Other hires include:

  • Matt Muenzberg specializes in digital copywriting, focusing largely on enterprise website work, ad campaigns and digital marketing products. With a decade of writing experience, Muenzberg previously worked as a copywriter at The Lacek Group, a specialty agency of Ogilvy, where his clients included prominent consumer brands such as Carnival Cruise Lines, W Hotels and Marriott Bonvoy.
  • Savannah Collier is a new advisor in the firm’s National & Academic Health System Practice. In her prior role with the Tennessee Department of Health, she was involved in community health assessments and state government commissions – work that has given her deep understanding of public health issues and the communications best practices needed to drive significant change in health and health policy.
  • Olivia Steaban is also an advisor in the firm’s National & Academic Health System Practice. Having worked in communications for international development and global health organizations, Steaban specializes in strategic planning. Before Jarrard Inc., she served as a program development specialist at Nashville-based Raise the Roof Academy, where she worked on community-wide advancement programs for rural Uganda.

The sustained growth at Jarrard Inc. brings the firm additional expertise to help hospitals, health systems and health services companies emerge through the pandemic.

Internally, supporting and retaining healthcare workers is top-of-mind for providers, along with adjusting operations and communications to reflect new expectations around remote or hybrid work models. At the same time, providers are focused on consolidating and improving new models of care such as telehealth and hospital at home services that became necessary due to pandemic shutdowns.

“Today offers the unique opportunity to make important changes to further improve healthcare delivery in this country and engage with employees, the public, media and policymakers as our industry applies the lessons from the pandemic,” Jarrard said.

About Jarrard Inc.

With offices in Nashville, Tenn. and Chicago, Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock, Inc. is a U.S. Top 10 strategic communications consulting firm for the nation’s leading healthcare providers experiencing significant change, challenge or opportunity. Founded in 2006, the firm has worked with more than 500 clients in over 40 states and served as a communications advisor on more than $60 billion in announced M&A and partnership transaction communications. The firm specializes in M&A, change management, issue navigation and strategic positioning. Jarrard Inc. is a division of The Chartis Group, one of the nation’s leading healthcare advisory and analytics firms.

For more information, visit or follow us @JarrardInc.

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